Annual meeting sponsors added

MTAC is pleased to announce that several member companies have committed to generous sponsorships for the 2016 Annual Meeting on Oct. 27.

Platinum Sponsors

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fedex-250x

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Silver Sponsors

  • New England Tractor Trailer Training School

As a reminder, MTAC is working with The Ferris Group in preparation for this year’s Annual Meeting, and accordingly, they are contacting members regarding sponsorship and trade show exhibits. Members may also contact the MTAC office directly for questions about sponsorships and exhibits.

For more information about the meeting, visit our website section dedicated to the MTAC Annual Meeting.

I-91 to Route 34 Construction Update

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is announcing construction activities related to the opening of the new bridge carrying the I-91 Southbound off-ramp to Route 34 Westbound (Exit 1) were successfully completed by 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14. All travel lanes on I-95, I-91, and Route 34 have been re-opened to traffic. Work scheduled to end by 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 has been completed.

The I-91 Southbound off-ramp to Route 34 Westbound (Exit 1) has reopened in final alignment on the new bridge over Water Street. The new ramp will now enter Route 34 Westbound from the right. The opening of this ramp allowed for all traffic to be removed from the final temporary ramp still in use within the interchange, completing another milestone for the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program.

The Department commends our contractor, O&G/Tutor Perini Joint Venture for their efforts, as well as all the motorists in the Greater New Haven Area, for their patience, understanding, and cooperation during this time.

To facilitate mobility through the work zone, motorists were assisted prior to and during the construction activities by advanced public notifications including: CTDOT Press Releases and ‘Construction Updates’ and ‘Construction News’ notices; municipal and public safety coordination; placement of advanced and additional highway signing; and the use of state and local police.

This segment of the project is one of a series of many traffic shifts as work progresses on reconstruction of the I-95/I-91/Route 34 interchange and other projects that are part of the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program.

ATRI & Mayo Clinic – Survey to examine driver medical exam process

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and Mayo Clinic today launched a set of surveys designed to solicit motor carrier and commercial driver input on the impact that the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) has had on the driver medical exam process. The NRCME was deployed in 2014 and since then, medical examiners performing DOT physicals are required to take an approved course, pass an exam and be listed in the registry before issuing medical certificates.

The research collaboration between ATRI and Mayo Clinic will quantify how effective the NRCME process is in improving the DOT physical exam process, and ensuring medical examiners understand FMCSA regulations and guidance for issuing medical certificates.

The research includes three separate data collection surveys; one each for motor carriers, commercial drivers, and medical examiners. The first two surveys for motor carriers and drivers are available on ATRI’s website. Mayo Clinic will be distributing the third survey to medical examiners through their targeted network.

“Driver health and wellness continues to be a top industry issue and area of research for ATRI. The joint research with Mayo Clinic will shed light on how the medical exam process is working since the advent of the national registry,” said ATRI President Rebecca Brewster.

“We can help shape and improve the medical examination process if we can better understand how motor carriers, truck drivers and medical examiners address the changes resulting from the NRCME process,” said Clayton T. Cowl, MD, MS and principal investigator for Mayo Clinic.

Motor carriers and commercial drivers are encouraged to complete the confidential surveys available online.

Complying with FMCSA Seminar

Complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can be difficult because of the number of regulations that are enforced. Many of the regulations are complex and can be hard to understand. Most of them require extreme attention to detail in order to be in compliance. Make sure your company understands what is required; attend a seminar on October 18 which will be taught by MTAC’s safety and compliance consultant Mike Glinski.

The two-hour session is designed to help carriers in their compliance efforts in regards to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. It will examine some of the common causes of violations during an investigation/audit. Is your business prepared for that “knock on the door” with the FMCSA investigator? Being prepared and having an idea of the process, as well as what will be checked, will result in better outcomes. It is much easier to be in compliance than to pay fines, have your safety status downgraded, or in the extreme case, receive a shutdown order. Be proactive in your compliance efforts by attending this class on Oct. 18.

Work slows on Pride’s Hartford truck stop

Excerpt from the Hartford Business Journal.

Progress has been slow but continues on the planned Hartford Travel Center refueling-rest stop that Springfield operator Pride Convenience Inc. is erecting in Hartford’s North Meadows.

The previously anticipated July 4 opening date has come and gone. A pair of pump-island canopies are all that’s visible so far on the 6 ½ acres at the northeast corner of Jennings Road, on the northbound side of I-91.

The facility will house 16 fuel pumps; a travel-center building equipped with showers and lockers for motorists; and a food court featuring Subway, a café-bakery and the “91 Grill,” offering burgers and fries.

Read the full article from the Hartford Business Journal.

Employment law seminar added to MTAC annual meeting

MTAC is pleased to announce that an additional seminar has been added to its Annual Meeting agenda. Attorneys from the Wilson Elser law firm (which is an MTAC member firm) will teach an educational class on Employment Law. The class will begin at 3 p.m., and will cover important topics of employment law that members need to know.

Be sure to register for MTAC’s 96th Annual Meeting, which will be held at Maneeley’s in South Windsor on Oct. 27.

Government looking at limiting truck speed

From Fox 61 Connecticut:

The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing that new trucks, buses and other multipurpose passenger vehicles over 26,000 pounds should be built with governors to limit their speed.

Top speeds being considered are 60, 65 and 68 miles per hour.

According to the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, the American Trucking Associations was one of the driving forces behind requiring so-called governors.

“We are for safety, there’s also data which shows that controlling your speed has fuel efficiency,” Joe Sculley, MTAC president, said.

MTAC figures the soonest that governors could be built into new trucks and on the road would be 2020.

US proposes mandatory speed limiter devices

Excerpt from Transport Topics article:

The federal government is proposing that heavy-duty vehicles be equipped with devices that limit their speeds on U.S. roadways but said the limiters will not be required to be tamper-proof.

The proposal, announced Aug. 26, discusses the benefits of setting the maximum speed at 60, 65, and 68 miles per hour but said a final rule could differ, depending on public input and vehicle tests to determine a speed limit for specific vehicle types.

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The rule wouldn’t be effective until three years after the final rule is published in the register.

The joint proposal of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said limiting the speeds of heavy vehicles will save lives and injuries, cut fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

Read the full Transport Topics article online.

2016 Brake Safety Week

Excerpt from Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance blog post:

During the week of Sept. 11-17, 2016, law enforcement agencies across North America will conduct inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes, and brake-system and anti-lock braking system (ABS) violations as part of CVSA’s Brake Safety Week, an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial motor vehicle (CMV) brake safety throughout North America.

Properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe CMV operation. CMV brakes are designed to hold up under tough conditions, but they must be routinely inspected and maintained carefully and consistently so they operate and perform properly throughout the vehicle’s life. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency and increase the stopping distance of trucks and buses, posing serious risks to driver and public safety. ABS systems help the vehicle, and thus the driver, maintain control in certain situations, which reduces the risk of some types of crashes.

Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage (representing 43 percent) of all out-of-service violations cited during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheck campaign in 2015, which focused on inspections of both vehicles and drivers.

Inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week include inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors, and other faulty brake-system components. ABS malfunction indicator lamps are also checked. Inspectors will inspect brake components and measure pushrod stroke where applicable. Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will result in the vehicle being placed out of service.

Read the full CVSA post online.

Connecticut trucking firms get diesel tax break

Excerpt from Connecticut Mirror article:

While Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature grabbed plenty of headlines this spring by not hiking state taxes, a huge drop in a crucial state fuel tax this summer has garnered less attention.

Connecticut’s tax on diesel fuel, which is fixed annually each summer with a statutory formula based on wholesale gasoline prices, fell 17 percent from 50.3 cents per gallon to 41.7, the Department of Revenue Services reported.

The levy also is down 25 percent from the 54.5 cents per gallon rate imposed two years ago.

“Fuel is the second-biggest cost to a trucking company besides labor,” Joseph R. Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said Friday. The Association represents more than 800 trucking and trucking-related businesses.

And Sculley noted that lower transportation costs assists a wide range of retail goods that are transported to stores by truck.

Read the full article online.